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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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CALICE in Texas

Sun glinting off the panorama windows of our meeting room.

Sun glinting off the panorama windows of our meeting room.

First stop on my spring travel binge: Check. The CALICE collaboration meeting at the University of Texas at Arlington. We just finished three days of presentations and intense discussions, and I guess I had more than my fare share: Since nobody else from my group wanted to travel to the meeting (to avoid getting into the same travel-crazy mode I’m currently in), I gave a total of five presentations on various topics that we cover in my group, from data analysis to hardware development and new ideas for a beam test we will have in the fall at CERN. A big plus of the location: While Europe is still deep in Winter (I was skiing last Sunday just 50 kilometers south of Munich!), spring is in full swing here: Sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s, certainly a nice change. Of course, while we could enjoy the sunshine on our way to the meeting, the blinds in the meeting room were always drawn, to allow us to see the presentations on the screen. So, even with spring sunshine outside, we are sitting in a darkened room, discussing results and plans for hours on end… But the meeting was definitely worth it: The plans for beam tests to study calorimetry at a multi-TeV Linear Collider are coming together, and our data analysis is getting more and more mature. New results, also from my group, are about to be released, hopefully in time for the Linear Collider Conference in Beijing, China, in less than two weeks.

Wafles in the shape of Texas... Things are different here!

Wafles in the shape of Texas... Things are different here!

This is my second time in Texas, and it certainly is true: Things are bigger, or at least a bit different, in Texas. There is no escaping that: Waffles in the shape of Texas for breakfast in the morning, to just point out one thing.

Now the meeting is behind behind me, but I still have a day to spend here. The reason is flight prices: when flying intercontinental from Europe, usually the only way to get a halfway decent ticket price is to stay the night from Saturday to Sunday, and spending it on the airplane does not count. Right now this is annoying, since it stretches my trip by a day, in a period I’m barely home anyway, but it also gives me the opportunity to see a little bit of what is outside the meeting room. We already got some local flavor at the collaboration dinner at Billy Bob’s Texas two nights ago, and tonight a few of us are planning to go to a rodeo in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. I’ve never been to one before, I’m sure it will be fun!

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